In a 2012 interview with Travel Weekly, Virgin American airlines announced that its new service from San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is already paying off, and paying off big time. It is only the third destination in Mexico to be added so far by Virgin America, which is based out of Burlingame, California, but at this rate it is surely not going to be the last.
“We’re seeing strong demand,” shared Ross Bonanno, who is vice president of airports and guest services for the airline. “It’s a popular and very safe resort area. We’ve seen that demand is as high for Puerto Vallarta as it is for Cabo and Cancun.”
As of mid-2012, Virgin America offered a total of five nonstop roundtrip flights each week to Puerto Vallarta real estate. In addition, the airline has also launched a new service from San Francisco to Los Cabos, which began service in December of 2010, and it has also added direct flights from both Los Angeles and San Francisco to Cancun, with service beginning in January of 2011. According to Bonanno, the airline chose to add Puerto Vallarta due to the region’s increasing popularity as a tourist destination.
In addition, Virgin America has been heavily promoting international travel to Mexico through a variety of different social media channels and also through its various partnerships with international tourism agencies, such as the Riviera Nayarit Tourism Board and the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board in Mexico. The region in focus for this particular campaign encompasses Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, Punta Mita and Sayulita, which are all located in Mexico’s state of Nayarit.
“It’s the best news,” stated Guillermo Ohem, who is director of the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board. “[Virgin America is] known as an excellent airline, and we believe it will give us a higher profile as a destination. The Virgin brand is a powerful one, and we are proud to have them as a partner.”
Mexico’s government is also investing heavily in Puerto Vallarta real estate, which has opened a new Malecon, which is another name for the waterfront promenade along the beach that is for pedestrians only. In addition, the city will host a number of large events this year, including the World Economic Forum on Latin America in April and the opening of the new Hard Rock resort in August, which is the first property to open by the brand in Latin America.